Zim on course to perform first heart transplant

HARARE - Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals could soon perform its first heart transplant after the National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe (Noic) granted the health institution’s cardiology department $350 000 for capacitation.

The hospitals’ consultant cardiothoracic surgeon, David Chimuka, said the funding is a step towards enabling them to be capacitated to perform the transplants.

All along, Parirenyatwa hospital has just been doing open-heart surgeries, which it resumed in 2016.

“I look forward to...perform our first heart transplant in this hospital,” Chimuka said.

“I want to assure Noic that we will do at least 60 to 100 surgeries on that money they have given us. And one day, we hope to bring in here 100 patients.”

“I want to thank in particular (Health) minister (David) Parirenyatwa for encouraging other companies to follow the example of Noic for supplying us with funds to purchase the consumables, which costs $1 000 to $2 000 per patient. We are still looking for funds to purchase a heart or lung machine which costs $300 000 to $400 000 and catheterisation laboratory equipment, which cost $1,5 million.

“Zimbabwe is the only country in the Sadc region without a catheterisation laboratory. We have many trainees for cardiac surgery, anaesthesia and cardiology who need to be trained locally. ”

Parirenyatwa has performed 34 surgeries since 2016 after government acquired a heart and lung machinery on loan basis from Medtronic — a South Africa-based company.

Noic has been working together with the hospital to facilitate the travel of patients for operations in India.

Noic board chairperson Jimias Madzingira said they had heeded to appeals by the hospital for funding of consumables.

“Following discussions with Parirenyatwa officials, we discovered that the equipment to conduct these procedures was available in the country,” Madzingira said.

Comments (2)

Dr Chimuka talk to Grace Mugabe .... that ring of hers cost exactly what you need - $1.5m

Sagitarr - 12 May 2017

Is it correct that it is against Shona Culture to donate organs? If so, where will the "donated heart" come from? And also, with such a shortage of medical staff and medicines, how will this be possible?

Jan Corley - 12 May 2017

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